Hotel Nueva Isla

Project information

Talent Irene Gutierrez
Role of participant Director, scriptwriter, executive producer, sound recorder
Director Irene Gutiérrez
Producer José Alayón, Claudia Calviño
Screenwriter Irene Gutiérrez, Javier Labrador, Lorenzo Mora
Status finished

Production details

Running time 71 min
Genre Documentary (Hybrid)
Year of production 2014
Countries of Production Cuba , Spain
Production Companies
El Viaje Films
Producciones de la 5ta Avenida


Despite the building's imminent collapse, the last inhabitant of a once luxurious hotel refuses to leave: he remains convinced that treasures, hidden by the hotel's original owners, lie waiting within its walls.

still / picture for Hotel Nueva Isla
still / picture for Hotel Nueva Isla
still / picture for Hotel Nueva Isla


In the early twentieth century, the “Hotel Nueva Isla” used to be an
emblematic luxury hotel, which after the Cuban Revolution was confiscated by
the State and become a shelter for homeless people. Located in a
neighborhood in Old Havana, today it has become imposing ruins of
particular instability. The building has become increasingly difficult to
live in, a shelter for people living on the margins of society. Jorge is a
retired clerk, one of the few that remain there, a taciturn and mysterious
character mostly accompanied by his dog. But as the neighbors go marching
to safer places, Jorge keeps clinging to his roots.

With real characters who were once the very residents of the hotel, the
little rituals and the enigmatic routines of a man who does not make clear
if he pretends to anarchically destroy the building or to perpetuate it and
its stories, were captured. The film talks about a generation that fought in
the Revolution, who dreamed of a utopia and a better society and ultimately
could not come to what they hoped to build.

Participation in international festivals / awards

- Screened as part of the MoMA Documentary Fortnight (USA).
- Winner, New Orleans Film Festival (USA), Best Documentary Award.
- Winner, Jeonju Film Festival (South Korea), Special Jury Prize.
- Winner, Cali International Film Festival (Colombia), Best Film Award.
- Winner, Docs DF (Mexico), Best Ibero American Documentary Award.
- Winner, Miradas Doc (Spain), Best Documentary Award.
- Winner, RDoc (Dominican Republic), Best Documentary Award.
- Winner, Young Cuban Cinema Showcase (Cuba), Special Jury Prize.
- Winner, Cinetekton Cinema & Architecture FF (Mexico), Best Documentary Award.
- Winner, Austin Cine Las Américas Film Festival (USA), Special Jury Prize.
- Miami IFF (USA) Ex-aequo Award to the Cuban Independent Cinema.
- Ânûû-rû Âboro IFF (New Caledonia), Special Jury Prize.
- Trinidad & Tobago International Film Festival (T&T), Jury Special Mention.
- Rotterdam Film Festival (Netherlands), Nomination FIPRESCI Award.



Main characterJorge de los Ríos


Cinematographer and scriptwriterJavier Labrador
EditorLorenzo Mora
ProducerJosé A. Alayón
ProducerClaudia Calviño
Sound editing and mixingCarlos garcía
Sound recorderIrene Gutiérrez


Name José Alayón
Company El Viaje Films